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The Red Book of Primrose House

(Potting Shed Mystery #2)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  854 ratings  ·  121 reviews
In Marty Wingate’s charming new Potting Shed Mystery, Texas transplant Pru Parke’s restoration of a historic landscape in England is uprooted by an ax murderer.
Pru Parke has her dream job: head gardener at an eighteenth-century manor house in Sussex. The landscape for Primrose House was laid out in 1806 by renowned designer Humphry Repton in one of his meticulously illu
ebook, 288 pages
Published November 4th 2014 by Alibi
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Susan Foulkes
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This, the second book in the “Potting Shed Mystery” series, lives up to the promise of the first.
It was a delight to be reunited with Pru and to follow her career, her search for her family, and her blossoming romance with Christopher.
Pru is now in charge of restoring the gardens at Primrose House, a job that had been promised to another of the characters. This is the first source of tension in the novel.
The humour in this book comes from the more and more outlandish plans Pru’s employer comes u
Kathy Martin
Sep 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was an entertaining, cozy mystery. Pru Parke is an England and has landed a dream job. She is restoring the gardens at an eighteenth-century manor house. If only someone wasn't trying to sabotage her work by acts of vandalism and, if only, her employer would quit sending her emails filled with her latest "good ideas."

Pru is busy working on restoring the gardens on a very short timeline. She is also trying to maintain a long-distance relationship with Inspector Christopher Pearse who is also
Judy Lesley
Oct 13, 2014 rated it liked it
This second book in The Potting Shed Mystery series was even better than the first, THE GARDEN PLOT, for me. That book relied a little too heavily on unlikely coincidences on the streets of London for me to find it wholly credible. This book, however, has moved Pru Parke as Head Gardner to Primrose House near the village of Bells Yew Green not far from Royal Tunbridge Wells. This rural setting is very much more believable regarding both the gardening aspect and the cast of characters encountered ...more
Susan Johnston
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the second book of the series and it is great fun to catch up with Pru Parke, gardener extradinaire, who has now left London for her new job trying to restore the gardens of an English estate. As if the job was not enormous enough, she has to deal with an employer who communicates her wild ideas through a series of notes, the local workers who look upon her not only as an outsider but, horrors, an American to boot. Her romance with the police officer, Chrisopher Pearse, who rescued her i ...more
Sep 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Even better than book one. We travel with Pru to Primrose house to restore the ancient gardens and soon figure out that someone isn't happy to have her digging in the garden. Christopher visiting on weekends helps with the clues she's gathering but is called away to help with a case further away ,so no weekend visits. Pru is growing as a character and as a couple, the two are perfect. Between searching for relatives, solving the vandalism in the garden and finding a murderer Pru is busy. Enjoy a ...more
Anastasia Abboud
I love this series. We have a Texas gardener, an English garden, romance, friendship, and mystery! Personally, I couldn't ask for anything more. Pru, the gardener and amateur sleuth, is from Dallas, but she has some English roots. She's a loveable character, as are her friends -- several of whom are suspected of murder. Every time I thought I was sure of the killer, the author planted another tiny seed of doubt or had me looking in another direction.

Pru has the dream job for many a serious garde
Carolyn Injoy
I received a free kindle copy of The Red Book of Primrose House: A Potting Shed Mystery (Potting Shed Mystery series 2) by Marty Wingate, published by Random House from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.

I liked the main character Pru (short for Prunella) who is a transplanted Texan. Her mother had lived in London & loved it there. This is the second of the Potting Shed Mystery series but it can stand alone. There are few references that hint at what transpired in the first of the series bu
Mystereity Reviews
Pru begins her new job at the Primrose House and is set with the gargantuan task of returning the gardens of a manor house back to the original landscaped designed by Humphrey Repton. As she begins work, she is beset by vandalism, and then the murder of one of her staff, the elderly Ned. Of course, Pru dives in to solve the murder, while trying to make her long-lost brother like her and mooning over her fellow, Christopher (because calling him her boyfriend is hysterically funny or something.)

Linda Baker
Following on the heels of The Garden Plot, Marty Wingate's second mystery starring Pru Parke, Texas transplant and gardener extraordinaire, is another delight. Pru has found her dream job restoring the landscape of Primrose House. The grounds were originally planned by the legendary Humphry Repton in 1806. While Pru is lucky enough to have Repton's illustrated "red book" of his original plans she is hampered by a strict schedule, limited staff and owners who are entirely too full of great ideas. ...more
Pru Parke returns in this sequel to The Garden Plot! Readers can expect more gorgeous gardens, more suspicious characters, and more murder, murder with garden tools!

Pru is now head gardener on a large British estate. She is living hours from London and from the charming, DCI Pearse. Pru commands an oddball group of gardeners, a group that has a limited amount of time to transform the neglected gardens into their former glory. When a murdered man is discovered on the estate, Pru decides to solve
Clare O'Beara
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: british-crime
This read is ideal for gardeners and wishful thinking gardeners as it focuses on restoring an English country home's grounds. The Red Book is the garden design layout left by the original designer, and an American lady called Pru is busy as she takes charge of the amiable staff and tries to return to the plans. She's a hard worker who pitches in with all the dirty work and makes room for a lad with special needs to help.

Local publicity and tensions combine until vandalism is noticed on the grou
May 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: cozy mystery fans
A good installment to this cozy mystery series. I still like Pru even if her seeming inability to have a plan for when things go pear shaped due to her nosiness, irritates me. I liked the growth of her relationship with Christopher & also the revelations she found on her continues quest for her English roots. I'm not sure why she displays not only no interest in her American father's line but seems almost apologetic over it but still, it was nice to see her explore her mother's family ties in he ...more
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy, e-book
This was my first book by this author, and I liked the characters, the setting and the storyline. I didn't figure out whodunnit until just before the reveal, but that's not unusual, so I'm not going to hold that against the author or the book :)

However, I would really have appreciated knowing that this is book #2 in a series *before I started reading it. As a die-hard "read a series in order" reader, I would not have requested an ARC of this book had I known there was a book before this one. Go
Bubble Bath Books
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it

Sissy: The Red Book refers to actual landscaping plans done by Humphry Repton, who is a real historical figure. This made the whole story, along with the English setting (you know how I love my English settings) more interesting to me. Overall, a very entertaining read.
Bubby: The Red Book of Primrose House actually made me want to go plant something. That's an accomplishment! Can't wait for book.
Read our full review of The Red Book of Primrose House by Marty Wingate.
Laura Salas
I totally enjoyed this cozy British mystery featuring Texas transplant Pru Parke. Garden sabotage, a vicious murder, a bit of genealogy drama, and a touch of romance, too. Nice change of pace from the darker, grittier mysteries I've been reading lately. Pru is fairly level-headed, and I want to spend more time with her! I was very happy that there was no love triangle, as it seems the past 10 books I've read have featured one. (More mystery, less romantic angst, please!) I'll be looking for the ...more
Vicki Jaeger
Sep 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Vicki by: advance reading copy
A "cozy" mystery, and a lovely read. Gardening, the English countryside, a slightly kooky estate owner, and a gardener import from Texas--how can it be bad? Throw in veiled comments about who really owns the estate, bad things happening around the grounds, someone else wanting the job she has taken, an inspector boyfriend in London, and a murder; that's when things get interesting! ...more
Patricia Moren
Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyable book with lots of twists and turns, maintaining interest to the end. I like a book where not only is there a good story but it is also possible to learn something about a subject of which you know nothing. In this case garden design. Excellent
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have to admit, I am nowhere near gardener status. I had an urban garden once and I kept most of the plants alive, but just this week my poor potted herb garden wilted away in the heat and sadly I will have to start again next year. Nonetheless, I absolutely loved reading about all the plants, gardening facts and descriptions in this book. The author did a great job of creating the atmosphere and getting in my head this massage estate garden project from the fine details of planning each plant, ...more
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This cozy mystery series is very good! (I am listening to the audio versions and the reader deserves 10 Stars!!!) I like that this cozy series is not taking place in a small town or village, with the same cast of characters in each book. Of course the main character, Pru, discovers a murder victim and works to figure out “who dunnit”, DCI Christopher Pearce is still a main character, and the main supporting characters are in attendance, but we are not limited to hearing about all the same cast w ...more
I've been on a run of painful books, and thought a nice murder mystery would sort out my woes. Wrong! This was awful too. I knew who the killer was the minute we're introduced to the person. Never trust someone who does something nice for you when they have no cause to, also allowing them access to places they shouldn't be sniffing around - in murder mysteries, I mean. But that's not the problem. I have no problem being spoiled, as long as the rest of the story is entertaining. But with Red Book ...more
May 20, 2018 rated it liked it
The Red Book of Primrose House is the second in the A Potting Shed Mystery series. I really liked the first in the series. In this book, Pru has taken on a new garden restoration project that is plagued by vandalism and finally a murder, on top of that Pru is dealing with issues in her personal life, looking for missing links to her family’s past and working on her love life with Christopher. There are just a few red herrings here, but in general the mystery was straight forward. I feel this boo ...more
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now I know why I don't garden.

Again Marty Wingate has captured the English garden just by describing it. And again I realized that to have an English garden whether large or small is a labor of love.

Pru Parke has taken a job restoring a garden where she was chosen over a local man. Soon things go wrong and it isn't until a murder occurs that you can't tell who is really who.
Add in her search for missing family, which brought her to England in the first place and her on going attraction to a cert
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Originally published at Reading Reality

In this followup to the delightful The Garden Plot American gardener Pru Parke is once again on the trail of a murderer while handling the restoration of a traditional English garden. While her garden labors end in success, just as in the first book, she also turns up a series of corpses, and sticks her amateur investigative nose into solving the crimes.

But this time, while she is still the bane of the local police department’s existence, her new lover is i
Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jeanie

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Jeanie

The Red Book of Primrose House is a thoroughly enjoyable novel by Marty Wingate, the second in her series entitled Potting Shed Mysteries. I did read the first one,,The Garden Plot, and feel that one can read this without reading the first one. You won’t want to miss, however, the exciting mystery and interesting characters while learning more about the richness of British history.

Pru (short for Prunella) Parke found th
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Title: The Red Book of Primrose House by Marty Wingate
Publisher: Random House/alibi. pp
Genre: cosy, mystery, English historical mystery,
3.5/4 Stars ****
Marty Wingate is the author of The Potting Shed mysteries: The Garden Plot, The Red Book of Primrose House, and Between a Rock and a Hard Place. Her new mystery series, Birds of a Feather: The Rhyme of the Magpie will be published June 2, 2015.
Marty writes about gardening in the PNW and travel (she also gives European garden tours). She c
JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: clean-cozy
“The Red Book of Primrose House” is the second in the Potting Shed Mystery series. In this follow up to “The Garden Plot”, Pru Parke, who has relocated from Texas to England, has landed an ideal job. She has been hired as the head gardener at a historic home in Sussex. The plans for the garden were originally conceived by famous designer Humphry Repton, who left detailed illustrations in one of his famous “Red Books”. Now it’s up to Pru to restore the garden according to the original plans, all ...more
Aug 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Red Book of Primrose House is the second book in the Potting Shed Mystery series by Marty Wingate.

Pru Parke is from Texas but has always wanted to live and work in England because this is where her mother was from. As a child she grew up listening to her mother's stories of England. She has now become the head gardener at Primrose House. She has been hired to
restore the gardens to their original glory of 1806 when it was designed by Humphrey Repton. Luckily she has been loaned his "Red Book
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
When we last left Pru, she had just been hired on as head gardener at Primrose House. It was a position she'd dreamed about for ages. And not only that, it allowed her to stay in England and it was close enough that she and her new love interest could still manage a relationship.

Pru couldn't be more excited about her new position as head gardener of Primrose House. The current state of the gardens is... well... pretty awful, but Pru is bolstered by the discovery of Humphrey Repton's original Red
Janice Liedl
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I loved this cozy mystery as much as, even moreso, than the first in the series. You don't have to have read Wingate's first Pru Parke mystery but why deny yourself the fun? Whatever you do, make sure you're ready to pick up with "The Red Book of Primrose House".

Pru has now achieved serious gardener employment in England and what a coup! Her job at Primrose House may have some slightly zany employers who envision all sorts of crazy tasks or additions to the garden Pru's restoring, but it also co
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USA Today best-selling author Marty Wingate writes The First Edition Library series (Berkley) set in Bath, England, about the curator of a collection of books from the Golden Age of Mystery. Book one, The Bodies in the Library, concerns murder among an Agatha Christie fan-fiction writing group, and in book two, Murder Is a Must (October 2020), an exhibition manager is found dead at the bottom of a ...more

Other books in the series

Potting Shed Mystery (7 books)
  • The Garden Plot (Potting Shed Mystery, #1)
  • Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Potting Shed Mystery, #3)
  • The Skeleton Garden: (Potting Shed Mystery, #4)
  • The Bluebonnet Betrayal (Potting Shed Mystery, #5)
  • Best-Laid Plants (Potting Shed Mystery #6)
  • Midsummer Mayhem (Potting Shed Mystery, #7)

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